Do Know When To Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet?

If you are a motorcyclist, your helmet should be your most valued piece of safety equipment. Most states have laws making it mandatory to wear a helmet, and even if you live in a state that leaves it up to you, your helmet could very well save your life in an accident. You may have a high quality, high tech helmet that you love, but helmets don’t maintain their quality forever so it’s important to know when it’s time to part ways and purchase a new one.

Has your helmet sustained trauma?

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, even a minor one, and you remember hitting your head at all, it is smart to replace your helmet. It might have felt like a minor bump to the head, but that’s probably because your helmet absorbed a whole lot of the impact! Even if you were involved in an accident and don’t remember hitting your head, you might want to have your helmet tested just in case, or if you are able to replace it just as a precaution.

Motorcycle accidents aren’t the only type of accident that can deteriorate a helmet. If you have butterfingers and drop your helmet more than a few times on a hard garage floor or outside on the pavement, it can become less effective in the event of an emergency. If you have any question of whether or not there is damage you can either have your helmet tested, or replace it just to be safe.

What does your manufacturer say?

Most manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet every 2-4 years whether or not it has absorbed any substantial impact in the time you’ve had it. I don’t know if anyone keeps the original box or packaging their helmet comes in (I certainly don’t), but your helmet should indicate the manufacturer with a logo or some type of marking. Visit the website of the manufacturer and see if you can find their recommendation for the particular model of helmet that you have.

The reason manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet every few years is not to make you purchase more helmets over your lifetime, but because they can only guarantee the effectiveness of their product for so long. The insulating materials as well as the glues deteriorate from time as well as oil (grease, lube, or just the oil your body produces), dirt, and any other contaminant that it may come in contact with.

Has your helmet sustained substantial (or minor but repeated) trauma? Have you had your helmet for more than a couple of years? Chances are that you would be safer if you bought a new one.


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